26 Oct 2010

Past Simple vs. Past Continuous; stative & dynamic verbs; -ed ending

Hello there!

Here I leave you with some interesting material from the Internet to revise some of the things we covered in class last week. First of all you have an episode from The Flatmates, a series by the BBC where they focus on different aspects of the English language.

Click on this link and you'll be able to listen to it (you'll see that you can listen either with or without the tapescript in front of you). After you listen, click on the "language point", where you have an explanation of how the past simple and continuous are used in the same sentence. Then you can practise doing the "quiz".


Sports idioms

Hi everyone!

How is it going?

In this entry I leave you with two videos about idioms related to sports (you can play them with or without subtitles). Remember that idioms are expressions whose meaning is different from the meaning of the individual words put together, e.g. "to smell a rat" doesn't mean that you're smelling a rat (!!!), but rather that you're suspicious about something.

In the first video you have idioms related to athletics ("a false start"; "to jump the gun"; "the front runner");


25 Oct 2010

Present simple; everyday activities; negative sentences; phonetic symbols

Hello everyone!

I'm sorry I took so long to update the blog this week (perdonad que haya tardado tanto en actualizar el blog esta semana). But, as we say in Spanish and in English... better later than never! :)

Last week we revised the contents of Unit 1 with pages 13 and 14 from the Student's Book; we also looked at vocabulary we can use on the plane and at the airport (workbook page 12 - para Nivel Básico D, subiré las respuestas del ejercicio esta noche).

We also learnt how to pronounce the 3rd person singular -s: /s/, /z/ or /iz/. Remember that in the present simple we add an -s to the verb if the subject is he she it. This -s changes to -es if the verb finishes in -x, -s, -sh, -ch or -o (esta regla también servía para la formación del plural). Todo esto lo tenéis explicado en el Grammar Bank 2A (page 124).


17 Oct 2010

An Introduction to Pronunciation

Last week I asked some of you to try and transcribe a few words... I was utterly amazed when you told me you had never seen phonetic symbols in your lives! Well, we have to put a solution to that! In class, we'll see symbols little by little, normally in pairs or triplets. However, just for you to have a general idea of how pronunciation works in English, here I leave you with two videos I've found on the Internet.

The two main ideas in the first video are that:
  • Good pronunciation is very important but... what do we mean by good pronunciation? Well, you don't have to sound like a native speaker. The only important thing is that your pronunciation doesn't impede communication. In other words, your pronunciation has to be clear enough for other people to understand.
  • There are many English accents, and any model is as valid. I personally have a British accent, but if you prefer the American, Canadian or Australian, to cite but a few, that's perfectly fine!


15 Oct 2010


This week we have seen the present simple and vocabulary related to everyday activities (watch television, do the housework, go to the cinema, etc.). We have also watched a video of two situations: on the plane and at the airport. We will continue with that next week.

Finally, we have also talked about what is typically British. We brainstormed the topic and then we saw some English customs and traditions. Do you think it is all true or are there clichés/stereotypes? For example, do all English people have tea at 5 o'clock? Do all Spanish people dance flamenco?

Have a look at the following video. What do you think? Is it a reflection of reality? I wait for your comments!

Have a good weekend!

7 Oct 2010

Numbers & dates

This week we have continued with numbers: We revised numbers from ONE to TWENTY and continued from TWENTY to ONE MILLION. We can combine those numbers to say any quantity.

Remember that we say dates in pairs: 1980 - nineteen eighty; except when we have double 0 at the end (1700 - seventeen hundred; 800 - eight hundred) and from 2000 to 2009 because we say the full number (two thousand, two thousand and one, two thousand and two...). When we have a 0, we say 'oh', like in telephone numbers: 1904 - nineteen oh four). In football, we say 'nil' (3-0: three nil); and in tennis we say 'love'(15 - 0: fifteen love).

We also did a Numbers Quiz and we revised countries, nationalities and useful questions with Mario Benedetti, an Italian student who went to Ireland.

On Wednesday/Thursday, we learnt possessive adjectives (my, your, his, etc.), vocabulary related to classroom objects and some more phonetic symbols. Remember: don't panic with pronunciation - we will see it little by little (poco a poco). And, please, if you find it difficult, do extra practice with your multiROM.

That's all for today!

See you all next week! ;)